Governor Scott’s Fact Check
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Times/Herald Sensationalizes Risk Transfer Decision Facing Citizens Board
CLAIM: Times/Herald Headline: “After big donations to Gov. Scott, insurance company may reap $52M”
FACT: Governor Scott’s office provided the Times/Herald with the following statement: “It is the responsibility of the Citizens Board to act in the best interest of their policyholders. We expect them to approve or disapprove of this risk transfer based solely on its merits. Anything short of that would harm Citizens policyholders and Florida residents who back Citizens policies. We have not, nor will we, direct them to act one way or another as they seek to protect Florida taxpayers.” – Melissa Sellers, Communications Director, Governor Rick Scott
CLAIM: “Citizens is hoping to ink a special deal Wednesday with Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Company…”
FACT: Citizens’ website shows Citizens approved a similar “deal” with a company named “Weston” months ago, showing that this is not “special.”
- [SIMILAR WESTON AGREEMENT] “Under OIR’s consent order, Weston and Citizens will enter into a depopulation agreement. Under this and subsequent orders to be approved by OIR, Weston will remove approximately 23,000 Personal Residential Wind-Only policies, 3,000 Commercial Residential Wind-Only policies and 5,000 Commercial Nonresidential Wind-Only policies from Citizens’ Coastal Account.”
- [SIMILAR WESTON AGREEMENT] “The Weston Depopulation could potentially remove 30,080 policies with almost $30B in total exposure located in the Coastal territories. These targeted policies provide coverage for the peril of wind only.”
Additionally, Heritage was certified by the Office of Insurance Regulation to do business in the state of Florida last year. The OIR is an independent entity that regulates and licenses insurance companies with the power to revoke a company’s ability to do business in Florida.
- [CERTIFICATION] “Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company (Heritage) is a Florida property insurer that received its Certificate of Authority (COA) from the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) on August 17, 2012.
CLAIM: “Heritage…in line to get special treatment from Florida’s state-run insurance firm in the form of an unusual and lucrative ‘reinsurance quota share’ agreement.”
FACT: In addition to the similar Weston agreement, detailed above (and thousands of other risk transfer agreements by Citizens), Citizens’ website shows that Heritage already received one transfer of thousands of policies back in October 2012.
- [HERITAGE’S OCTOBER 2012 RISK TRANSFER] “The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced the approval of up to 100,000 policies to be removed from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) by two Florida domestic insurance companies starting on December 4, 2012. … Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company, recently licensed in August 2012 and with a home office in St. Petersburg, FL, has been approved to remove 60,000 policies.”
- [MORE THAN 220,000 CITIZENS RISKS TRANSFERS IN 2012] “On Tuesday, November 6, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) returned 142,165 policies and nearly $40 billion in exposure to the private market through Citizens’ Depopulation program. This latest round of assumptions brings the total number of policies taken out of Citizens in 2012 to 229,502. An additional 58,709 takeout offers have been sent to Citizens policyholders for a December 4 assumption.”
The Office of Insurance Regulation approved this proposed Heritage transfer (as they are required to do before an agreement goes before the Citizens Board), just as they approved the previous Heritage risk transfer in 2012. OIR is an independent licensing entity required to approve potential insurance deals with the state.
- “Because the depopulation plan approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) includes a reinsurance component (the quota share reinsurance agreement), approval by Citizens’ Board is necessary for the plan to proceed. If the depopulation plan did not include a reinsurance component, the takeout would have needed only OIR’s approval.”
On pace for 700,000 Jobs
POLITIFACT: “While the most recent statistics show job creation moving in a positive direction, the pace is so sluggish, that it still looks like it will be difficult for Scott to keep his word.”[i]
FACT CHECK : Florida’s top public sector economists projected that Florida is on pace to exceed Governor Scott’s goal of 700,000 jobs by 2018. They project Florida will create 900,000 jobs by 2018.[ii]
FACT CHECK: Florida has gained nearly 78,000 jobs since August 2011 and has had positive annual job growth for 25 consecutive months.[iii]
POLITIFACT: “To just get to 700,000 jobs, Florida would still need to create about 9,500 jobs a month through 2017 instead of the 6,500 jobs a month the state is now generating.”[iv]
FACT CHECK: Governor Scott has acknowledged there is more work to be done. [v]
FACT CHECK According to the latest jobs report, more than 23,000 jobs were created in August, ranking second only behind Texas.[vi] This continues a trend of positive month to month job growth for 11 of the past 14 months and positive annual job growth for 25 consecutive months.[vii]
FACT CHECK: Job growth is not a straight line graph. As we see Florida’s economy pick up it will continue to increase. Our state has seen increases in the number of jobs, in median home prices and in housing starts.[viii]
FACT CHECK: In the second quarter of this year, Florida’s income growth outpaced the nation and the state’s consumer confidence is at a five-year high. [ix]
FACT CHECK: The US Chamber of Commerce ranked Florida the best in the country in preparing its residents for new jobs (talent pipeline).[x] This bodes well for having the right people in the right place when job openings appear.
[i] “Scott-O-Meter: Create Over 700,000 jobs,” Politifact, October 8, 2012, Accessed 10/8/12 http://www.politifact.com/florida/promises/scott-o-meter/promise/588/create-over-700000-jobs/
[ii] “Economic Estimating Conference Says Florida on Pace for 900,000 New Jobs,” Department of Economic Opportunity, 10/1/12, Accessed 10/8/12 http://www.flgov.com/2012/10/01/economic-estimating-conference-says-florida-on-pace-for-900000-new-jobs/
[iv] Politifact, Ibid.
[v] “Governor Scott’s Weekly Radio Address,” September 28, 2012, http://capitalsoup.com/2012/09/28/governor-rick-scotts-weekly-radio-address-15/
[vi] “Florida’s Income Growth Tops National Average,” Sun Sentinel, September 29, 2012, http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-09-29/business/fl-personal-income-20120929_1_income-growth-personal-income-jorge-salazar-carrillo
[vii] “Florida Ranks Second Among All States in Job Creation Numbers,” Florida Department of Economic Opportunity press release, September 27, 2012, http://www.floridajobs.org/news-center/news-feed/2012/09/27/florida-ranks-second-among-all-states-in-job-creation-numbers
[viii] “Economic Estimating Conference Says Florida on Pace for 900,000 New Jobs,” Department of Economic Opportunity, 10/1/12, Accessed 10/8/12 http://www.flgov.com/2012/10/01/economic-estimating-conference-says-florida-on-pace-for-900000-new-jobs/
[ix] “Florida’s Income Growth Tops National Average,” Sun Sentinel, September 29, 2012, http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-09-29/business/fl-personal-income-20120929_1_income-growth-personal-income-jorge-salazar-carrillo
[x] “Enterprising States report: Tp Performers in Talent Pipeline,” US Chamber of Commerce, June 22, 2012, Accessed 10/8/12; http://ncf.uschamber.com/blog/2012/06/enterprising-states-report-top-performers-talent-pipeline